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Smile, Breathe the Fresh Air and Feel the Warm Days Ahead: ScottsMiracle-Gro Declares the Arrival of Spring

MARYSVILLE, Ohio, March 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With winter in the rearview mirror, it’s time to remove the lawn furniture covers, clean your barbeque grill and play ball in the backyard with your children – but before any of this happens – homeowners should go through a quick checklist to ensure that lawns and gardens are spring-ready to enjoy for the sunny and fun days ahead.

“New life starts with spring as the flowers begin to bloom and grass turns green again, but there are plenty of educational tips and tricks for homeowners to make their lawn and garden home projects truly luxurious and beautiful for their children and pets to enjoy,” said Ashton Ritchie, lawn and garden expert for ScottsMiracle-Gro.

According to studies, children who spend regular time outside to play on their lawn build a stronger immune system, are better problem solvers and receive an abundance of vitamin D, which helps better mood, energy levels, memory and overall health.* To ensure your lawn is ready for spring, ScottsMiracle-Gro is here with lawn and garden tips for every green-thumb:

Spring into Action to Get the Best Out of Your Lawn
Tips to get the best out of your lawn and enjoy your own green space for spring:

  • Look out for snow mold when the snow melts: Tan or lighter colored patches of crusty matted grass should be raked up and cleared to allow healthy grass to grow back.
  • Get your lawn mower ready: Tune up and clean up your mower. Change the oil. Sharpen the blade. Lubricate moving parts. Replace the spark plug. Clean it top to bottom and remove caked grass on the underside with a putty knife.
  • Feed your lawn while controlling weeds: Lawns wake up hungry in the spring so get started early. A well fed lawn in the spring strengthens roots and sets up a healthy growing season. The best time to feed your lawn is around the first time it needs to be mowed.
    • Higher mowing at one of the top two settings on your mower encourages a thick, full lawn that can help prevent additional weeds from germinating.
    • Ensure your spreader is properly calibrated to get the right amount of product applied to your lawn. Products like the Scotts® WIZZ Spreader make this process a snap.
    • Get ready for spring time by applying a pre-emergent weed control to prevent crabgrass in the North or post-emergent weed control to stop dollarweed in the South.
    • For best results, try a weed & feed product that feeds and controls weeds at the same time, like Scotts® Turf Builder® Weed & Feed.
    • Once finished, make sure to sweep extra product that makes it onto walkways and sidewalks back onto your lawn.
  • Southern lawns and warm-season grasses: Warm-season grasses grow best in temperatures between 75-90°F and do most of their growing in the summer.
    • Mowing high in early spring is great, but warm-season grasses common in the south prefer to be mowed a bit lower. Zoysia and centipede prefer a middle mower setting, while Bermuda thrives at a low setting, providing a 1½-2 inch cut.
    • For southern lawns such as St. Augustine grass (including Floratam), Centipede, Zoysia and Carpetgrass Lawns use Scotts® Turf Builder® Bonus® S Southern Weed & Feed to kill dollarweed and clover and build strong, deep grass roots.
  • Lawn watering and conservation: Mow relatively high for your lawn type. Longer grass develops deeper roots to access underground moisture, reducing the need for surface watering. If you must water, morning is best. Make sure to check outdoor faucets, sprinklers, and hoses for cracks and leaks. Use Scotts® EveryDrop™ Water Maximizer to drive water into dry, hard soils for better results with limited water.

Spring Gardening Preparation:
Use a garden to grow your own solutions, whether you are aiming to brighten up your landscape & interiors, or expanding your cooking ingredients with your own vegetables & herbs. What Type of Garden Could You Use?

  • Container garden: small and manageable for keeping plants in a convenient location inside or outside.
  • In-ground garden: the traditional method for outdoor gardening. It’s also great for bigger plantings.
  • Raised bed garden: outdoor gardens larger than container gardens. Takes some extra effort, but allows better drainage and soil quality control.

Steps for Successful Indoor Gardening:

  • Assess light conditions: Varying plants and vegetables need different amounts of light so make sure you match up accordingly with the increased amount of sunlight following winter. Even if you have limited light in an urban setting, growing your own herbs can be a great choice: Soft-leafed herbs like cilantro and oregano can be kept near a window and add some fresh spice to your cooking. If starting seeds indoors, have a sunny place in mind once seedlings begin to appear.
  • Pick the right containers: Use properly sized containers for each plant to give it enough soil and room to grow. Don’t forget to label containers when starting seeds indoors—seedlings may be difficult to tell apart!
  • Use fresh potting soil: Use a fertile potting mix like Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil rather than soil from your backyard, which may contain weed seeds or disease that could hurt your plants.
  • Find a proper location: Position grown plants carefully near windows – some plants may wither if they face too much sunlight, so move accordingly to find the right balance. Hanging potted plants is a great option that can add decorative flair to a room or location—just plan on being able to regularly water them. In high-rise buildings, balconies can get extremely hot and dry from sunlight reflected off other buildings, so you may need to water your plants more often.
  • Feed and water regularly: Allow soil to dry between watering and be wary of yellow leaves as a signal that your plants may need less water. Feeding your plants the nutrients they need with products like Miracle-Gro® Plant Food can grow larger, healthier plants. Combined with Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil, you can achieve 50% larger plants and even grow 50% more flowers.

Outdoor Gardening

  • Start Cleaning Up Your Garden: Remove debris such as dead leaves, branches, and rocks. Tackle existing weeds and remove them from the garden.
  • Prepare Soil for Planting: Pick up a handful of soil and squeeze it. If it crumbles easily, you can start preparing your beds. Work composted matter into the soil, such as Miracle-Gro® All Purpose Garden Soil, for larger, healthier plants.
  • Assess Cold Damage to Plants and Encourage Replacement Growth: Damage caused by low winter temperatures should be monitored. Sometimes the damage is so severe (usually more than 50% of the plant is not leafing out at all) that it's better to replace the plant. Once spring arrives and plants begin to "green-up" with new leaves, cut away any dead limbs or branches that are not leafing-out. Encourage vigorous new growth by replenishing much-needed nutrients with product such as Miracle-Gro® Plant Food. Use with soil mixed with Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for even better results.
  • Edge Your Beds: Cut a clean edge where planting beds meet the lawn. Use a flat-bladed spade or a lawn edger, cutting deeply enough to sever grass roots growing into the bed. Next, add 3 inches of mulch to finish the look and to block weeds' access to sunlight.
  • Use Mulch to Keep Weeds Out: Use mulch as a natural weed barrier and put down a 3-inch thick layer. That's enough to keep most weed seeds or roots from sprouting.
  • Watering Your Outdoor Garden and Plants: Factors such as soil, humidity and sunlight can make a big difference.
    • Soil: Clay soils hold water best, but take longer to absorb it. Sandy soil absorbs water very quickly, but can't hold much.
    • Watch the weather: Hot, dry, windy days suck up moisture out the soil much faster than still, humid days.
    • Root depths vary greatly: What you grow will also determine how much water you need. Tomato roots can reach 2 feet deep after a good season, while other plants grow much shorter roots.
    • Whether the soil surface appears wet or dry, you can't always tell what's going on at the root level. To see if you've watered enough, take a long screwdriver and stick it into your garden soil. If it goes in easily, you've probably watered enough.

There's nothing like personal attention from a trusted expert to quickly answer any of your lawn and garden questions. Visit the Scotts Help Center to send us a note or speak with an expert by calling 1-888-270-3714.

*Sources:
Care Online: https://www.care.com/a/5-health-benefits-of-playing-outside-131104115840
Mommies Magazine: http://mommiesmagazine.com/10580/children-play-outside-winter/

About ScottsMiracle-Gro
With approximately $3 billion in worldwide sales, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is exclusively marketed near worldwide by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligène® and Substral®. In 2015, the Company ranked on Forbes 100 Most Reputable Companies in America. For additional information, visit us at www.scottsmiraclegro.com.

For media inquiries: Kim Markus The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Kim.Markus@scotts.com 937-644-7290 Annika Tunberg Zeno Group for The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Annika.Tunberg@zenogroup.com 312-321-4862

Source:The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company